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Aldi Responds to Claims That Its Bacon is Grown in a Lab

Social media users alleged that the grocery chain's bacon isn't derived from pigs.

The popular discount grocer Aldi has found itself at the center of a rumor, as social media users have been circulating a claim that the grocery chain's Appleton Farms bacon is grown in a lab.

Last week, the Associated Press confirmed that this rumor is false. Aldi told the news outlet that its Appleton Farms products "are not produced through cultivated lab practices." This raises the question of what prompted this allegation.

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On March 19, a Facebook user shared a post, claiming that Aldi's meat doesn't come from pigs and is instead grown in a lab. The post has been shared 27,000 times. Facebook has since stamped it with a "false information" disclaimer.

Alongside an image of Appleton Farms bacon, the post's caption reads, "If you shop at Aldi you need to know that store brand bacon is not from pig it's from a growing CELL. Appleton Meats. Appleton Meats is currently a privately funded company exploring multiple cellular agricultural methods for growing ground beef, chicken, and mouse-meat cat treats."

However, this allegation appears to stem from confusion about the name of Aldi's store-brand bacon, which is Appleton Farms. The grocery chain told USA Today that Appleton Farms is "an Aldi private label brand and has no affiliation with Appleton Meats."

In addition to bacon, Aldi sells a variety of products sold under the Appleton Farms brand, including ham, prosciutto, salami, sausage, and chicken strips.

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So, what is Appleton Meats? According to the Canadian Press, this company was founded in 2017 and uses cellular agriculture, which utilizes animal cells to produce milk, eggs, meat, and other products.

It's unclear if Appleton Meats is still operating, with Snopes noting that company "appears to have possibly closed." The fact-checking website cited a webpage on Crunchbase that suggests the company is no more. Appleton Meats' website also appears to no longer exist.

In 2019, Sid Deen, the founder of Appleton Meats, told the Canadian Press that the company was in an initial research phase and said he anticipated selling a product within three to five years.

Last June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the sale of lab-grown or "cell-cultivated" chicken from two California-based startups, Upside Foods and Good Meats

Brianna Ruback
Brianna is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna
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